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android security encryption

Encryption & SIM Lock Android Security Features

Is data being encrypted on your smartphone by you? If you fail to do so, if the phone is ever stolen there is a risk of losing it. Encrypt your android to protect sensitive personal data.  Its easy to do with software that is usually provided by the device manufacturer or in the operating system.

Simplicity of Securing Your Smartphone

Due to threats being so high of smartphone theft, it is highly important handsets have locks applied to them. Use a PIN, a shape you swipe on screen display, or facial recognition to unlock your secured phone.

To set this up on Android, go to Settings > Security > Screen security. Next you want to tap Screen lock where choices between PIN, Swipe, Password, and Pattern can be selected as methods for access. Choose whichever one you like best to unlock your Android phone.

When using a Windows Phone, go to Settings > Applications > Phone, and enable SIM security. Enter a PIN according to your network provider’s instructions. This gives you two PIN codes now on your phone, one unlocks the screen and the other unlocks the PIN.

On an iOS, Settings > Phone > SIM PIN then enter the network-provided, existing SIM PIN for confirmation.

Encrypting Data on Android Smartphones

Locking a phone is helpful, but to have ideal security, you should encrypt your data.

Android data encryption is separated from linked to the passcode once activated. Keep in mind however, if you forget your PIN once encryption is applied, your data remains unattainable. Only way for data to be decrypted is by your PIN.

To encrypt data on an Android device, connect the charger. Next go to Settings > Security > Encryption > Encrypt Phone. Be sure to read warning/explanation and understand encryption implications. If happy, select ENCRYPT PHONE. During this process, your phone is not able to run apps, make calls, etc.

If your phone has slowed down dramatically, you are able to return and disable encryption by going to Settings > Security > Encryption > Encrypt Phone. 

Encrypting data on iOS is much simpler. When a PIN or passcode is set on your device, the data is encrypted.

Encrypting data on Windows Phone can be done if an organization manages your phone and is done by way of Microsoft Exchange server. Otherwise users must wait for Microsoft Mobile 10 update for another way of encrypting their data.

Using these ways to secure your smartphone helps ensure data stored will not be stolen if your device is.

Micro SD Card and adapter upgrade storage space Android

Quickly add more storage to your Android

Get More Storage Using a MicroSD Card

Android devices come with limited storage internally. The RAM is the memory that what affects how fast it runs. High-end android phones and tablets most likely have 2GB RAM or more. However, if your device is a cheaper model you may have 1GB or less of RAM. Many people believe RAM can’t be increased in your Android device like it can be in a PC, can it?  Let’s learn more about how to use a micro sd card to increase capabilities or your device.

Reasons for More RAM

If you have more storage, there is more room for video clips, photos, or MP3s, but additional RAM assists the processor to work faster, thereby helping with creation and playback of these files.

There are many times that internet is blamed for playback problems, when more RAM would of fixed the issue.

Rooted Device RAM Swap

With Android devices that are rooted, it is easy to increase RAM with ROEHSOFT RAM Expander (SWAP). This program is compatible with rooted tablets and phones.

With use of MemoryInfo & Swapfile Check, available at the google store, you can check to see if your device compatible with ROEHSOFT RAMEXPANDER.

Select Start RAMEXPANDER Test Here and choose the SD card you are checking, now Click for result. After seeing congratulations you are able to proceed to install the app.

RAM Expander Installer

With message displayed and root permissions applied, it is time for you to select your language.

Next, you will see a slider on a screen which is able to be adjusted to the amount of RAM you want on dedicated to the SWAP partition.

Tap optimal value if you are not sure what amount and the app decides for you. Check to be sure Autorun is enabled and then hit Swap Activ.

Micro SD to Increase Storage

Micro SD cards work for more than just RAM increase. You can use a Micro SD card to increase the capacity of your storage. This is great is you want to download more music, apps, takes more photos, or record more video clips.

First, insert a Micro SD card into it if there is a memory card slot available on your android device that is running out of space.

However, when purchasing a Micro SD card be sure to buy one that is more resilient. When checking the box be sure to get at least a class 4, which is what is recommended, but best is class 10.

Use this extra storage to install games and apps, move apps and games so you are able to increase the main device storage. If you run Android Lollipop, open Settings > Applications and use the button on apps Move to SD Card if available.

With Micro SD cards able to increase RAM and storage, be sure to always have one on hand!

Google Now for Hands Free in the Car

Posted on February 25, 2016
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google now

Google Now Hands Free Driving

Google Now allows use of voice commands to do just about anything you need to with your phone. Everyone knows dangers that exist from texting and driving, but many people find it hard to set their phone down for that short drive home from work.

Notes & Reminders

Many people are always using their phone to constantly enter something in their to-do list or schedule before they forget. Reduce the dangers of accidents by using Now with Google Now. This is especially useful if you phone has Google Calendar is synced. You can say commands such as:

  • “Set an alarm for 5PM”, or if you want on recurring “Set an alarm every Wednesday morning for 7AM.”
  • Specific reminders can be sent to you, such as “Remind me to stop at Sue’s 3PM tomorrow” or “Remind me to grab milk at Ralph’s 4PM today.”
  • Use your Google Calendar to create an event by saying, “Create a calendar event for a Doctor appointment in NYC, Tuesday at 3PM.”

Saves notes to yourself, “Note to self: Pay light bill Friday.”

First time using the command Google Now needs to be told which to-do or note-taking apps you want used.

Communication on Phone

Instead of using a dial pad, just say, “Call Tom”, Google Now looks the name up in your list of contacts and dials for you.

If sending SMS messages, just say, “Text Tom that I will meet him at 6PM for drinks”, and after receiving a confirmation “yes” for the correct name, Google Now sends it along.

Navigation, Travel, Maps

One of the most common needs when driving around is finding how to get where you are going. Just ask Google Now something like, “Direction to Grand Central Station” and you will see directions on the screen from Google Maps. To have turn-by-turn directions, just hit Start button.

You can receive other information aside from directions:

  • Say “How far is NYC, New York from Rochester, New York” to learn how long it takes to drive from NYC to Rochester.
  • Ask to see map of location, “Map of NYC, New York.”
  • Ask “Where is nearest gas station?” or coffee shop, restaurant or other type of business.

Find out Information

Have you ever been driving along with a friend when the two of you come into a debate? Let Google Now settle your debate! Just say, “OK Google” to your phone, and ask your question when you hear a beep. No need to look at your phone, Google now reads it aloud and gives it visually.

This is just the beginning of what you can do hands free with Google Now!

habbits app

Achieve Your New Goal With Free Android Apps

Posted on February 19, 2016
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Apps can make it easier.

Apps can make anything easier.

These Apps Can Help You Achieve Your Goals… And More

We are more than a month into the New Year, have you been sticking to your New Year resolution? If you have been having difficulty staying on board with challenges you set for yourself this year, we know of some great free Android Apps for you to try.

It is up to you to pick your challenge, whether it is quitting smoking, losing weight, having greater productivity, as so forth. Do not choose several new challenges, stick to just one you can concentrate on. Take out your Android and get ready to meet your challenge.

Track Your Goal on Regular Basis

We all have habits, and none of them are created overnight. It takes time to break or start habits . Just keep going, taking one day at a time.  Track your progress to see if you are on your way toward your goal or not,

You can track almost everything when you own an Android. If changing only one habit, the free version of TrackThisForMe is perfect for you. Simple to use, track five things at once, choose the date, add a value, and comment if you want. Keep in mind however, track how close you are getting to your goal, not what you did.

If your goal is to hit a certain weight, track current weight and each time you weight yourself. Do not track gym visits, which times you did good on your diet and when you didn’t.

Keep a Happy Streak

A popular way of building new habits is called “Don’t Break the Chain.” This is where you do the same this on a daily basis and mark it on a calendar. The free App Pledge tracks habits, reminding you to do them to help reinforce these new habits in your life. If habits are kept, streaks are kept and high scores helping you to grab your goal. Announce your streak and score to your friends on social media!

Android Apps for Change

If you want to keep it simple, use the previous two mentioned Apps. They concentrate on the habit while keeping the app very simple to use. Or go for the App that is above the rest, HabitBull.

You set a habit, put in a reminder, add a target day. HabitBull will now do all the heavy lifting for you, tracking all your progress to create a calendar to be sure you do not break your streak, taking all this data and changing it into gorgeous graphs, and giving you boosts by motivational phrases. The interface is brilliant, where you will want to come back over and over. There is a Pro version, but what you get in the free version is enough to work.

Which Android Apps would you choose?

samsung galaxy s4 white

2015 Best New Android Apps

Posted on February 12, 2016
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Everyday android developers publish a mountain of android apps in the Play Store. Only few are worth keeping for long-term use. Let’s turn our attention to some great apps released 2015. If you did not get a chance anmost of allytime during the year, take the time now to check them out.

AppChat

There are times people just want to connect with other people that are using same devices and apps, but should they be hunted down on social media or forums? No! All you need to do is use AppChat. It’s simple, it makes a chatroom for all apps on your tablet or phone. You log in, chat with users, you even have the option of sharing files. The best part is that its totally free!

Texpand

Keyboards for Androids are much improved in last couple years, but they still are not as fast as computer keyboards. First of all, Texpand saves a lot of tedious typing. Create custom shortcuts that you can use anywhere text is input. Make your own shortcut abbreviations by using the app that fills while text you choose when you type. For example, use Texpand to add your full address and have it inserted by using an abbreviation such as “adr”. It supports date, time, and current contents of clipboard. The first 10 phrases are free, after that you need to pay $2.99 for pro version.

Snapseed

Image editor app, Google’s Snapseed, received a complete v2.0 overhaul in 2015.  This app includes all basic editing tools, such as rotation, cropping, transformations, color levels, along with a great selection of effects and filters. If your phone takes RAW images, Snapseed handles it with enhanced editing. Most of all, Spapseed makes non-destructive edits.  Your original file is not touched and is left for you just in case you decide to go back to it later on. This is a great free app!

Manual Camera

Android 5.0 Lollipop added a new camera API. Apps now finally have full access to sensor data. This means that people that have certain devices can take greater photos than apps that only reprocess the JPEG that gets spit out by the system app. Developers released this app in 2015 to be able to full advantage of the API. Manual camera supports ISO, manual zoom, RAW capture, white balance, and much more. The user interface is fast and easy to use. This app is only $2.99!

Android Bloatware

Bloatware got you down?

Stop Wasting System Resources

Android bloatware is what we call the factory installed apps and carrier installed apps loaded in android devices.  Remember your excitement when opening up  a brand new android smartphone? The whole feeling is great, opening the package, little extras in the box, and peeling off that plastic covering the front. Finally, turn it on and watch it finish its boot animation to fully see your Android.  When you take a look inside the app drawer your smile quickly goes away. Your focus turns to all these unwanted pre-loaded apps within your Android.

Removable Bloatware in Android

Some manufactures of Androids claim their bloatware will be removable. This is not speaking entirely truthfully, however. Users can delete some pre-installed apps, not all of them. Users only have the capability to disable some of the apps.   We are still stuck with some apps whether we want them or not. The amount of apps which can be disabled or deleted depend on your region and carrier. If you buy an android which is carrier-specific there is going to be more non-deletable, non-removable bloatware.

Why We Deal With Bloatware

Most of us believe tons of pre-loaded bloatware that we do not want or have no need for, should no be on our Android smartphones. We purchase with our own hard earned money and expect a good experience. Android users should have a say what apps are on our phones using up precious system resources and storage space. Manufacturers of these phones need to allow us the ability of deleting any apps we want, not just some of them. As the owners of android phones, we should decide if these are apps we want.  We can go to the Google Play Store and download them.

We wouldn’t buy albums with ads or Blu-ray players with commercials.  Why do we deal with this on our android smartphones and tablets? They take up plenty of system resources and space, but we still take it. Let us face that bloatware is not going anywhere anytime soon. They could present these factory and carrier apps to us differently instead of forcing them down our throat. I doubt there is one person that uses every single pre-loaded app they are made to have on their phone. They could offer different pre-loaded packages for our phones for use to choose from.  We might consider some of them useful, such as “entertainment package”, “gamer’s package”, or “office package”.

How to Get Rid of Bloatware

Manufacturers put bloatware into our Android smartphones. We as consumers will continue to purchase them despite this. Contact an experienced professional to root your android in order to rid your device of bloatware. Benefits include increased performance and battery life, along with many other advantages.

root android unlock

Is Rooting Android Tablets and Phones Legal?

Posted on January 29, 2016
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Rooting Android Tablets and Phones – Legal?

Is rooting android legal?  Cell phone unlocking is illegal without permission from the carrier.  You may wonder if this applies to rooting as well. Many have questions about rooting. Some sources state tablet rooting is illegal. This causes confusion with many people receiving incorrect information on this topic.

Rooting and Jailbreaking are Two Different Things

First, please understand rooting/jailbreaking and unlocking are different things. Jailbreaking means removing software restrictions imposed by Apple iOS.  This is illegal because iOS is propriety not opensource like android.  The DMCA, which made unlocking smartphones without permission from carriers in US illegal, does not have any relevance to rooting. Carrier unlocking a smartphone allows switching service providers.  However, rooting only means there is a modification to permissions of the operating system and has nothing to do with any carrier.  Some carriers and manufacturers frown on the practice and make it harder by locking the bootloader of the device.

Android Smartphone Rooting

Rooting android smartphones has not changed and is completely legal, with no prosecution under DMCA. News about tablets is not as bad as reported by news sources. Rooting android tablets is legal. DMCA has not given an exemption for this.

Rooting Android Tablets

Manufactures could file a civil case for rooting a tablet under the DMCA. There are several reasons why this happening has an extremely slim chance:

  • Android tablets existed and openly rooted since 2009, when the operating system was created.
  • Android always marketed itself as open platform and has encouraged modification and development. If they try to ban rooting, this would be a nightmare with public relations for Android as well as device manufacturers. It could possibly do harm to the brand and market shares in long term. Android would have no motivation to do this.
  • To guarantee tablets rooting legality, DMCA wanted to provide tablets exemptions. EFF was unable to provide them with a tablets concise definition, and Library of Congress did not overly broad exemptions passed due to possible unintended consequences.
  • Several different Android devices encourage modification by shipping with unlocked bootloaders.

While theoretically issues with tablet rooting can occur, the chances of legal issues are extremely slim. Until a manufacturer tries their luck at suing someone, you should not worry.

These rules apply to people inside the United States. This ruling is in the US, many countries having laws allowing unlocking of smartphones, carrier locks being forbidden, locked bootloaders, and laws allowing rooting and jailbreaking.